Couldn't help it. Honestly.
There we were, waiting in line at a sandwich shop for an out-of-the-ordinary, mid-week lunch date with my girl.
Clearly, I wasn't myself.
She eyed me suspiciously.
“Why are you ordering salad?”
“Because I want it,” I lied.
She wasn't buying it. Especially after I asked for a few lemon wedges instead of ranch dressing.
“It's because dad's all gung-ho on his resolution to lose weight, isn't it?”
“No!” I drawl, sounding like a petulant child. “It has nothing to do with him.”
She just leaned back and grinned.
“Just because he's tightened up one belt loop doesn't mean … Oh, never mind.”
Stupid, smart kids. Of course, I'm jealous.
The man stops eating one bowl of ice cream per night and jogs around the bedroom while he watches a half-hour of Netflix, and he loses 10 pounds in a week. I run 15 miles a week for a year and gain three pounds.
Maybe that's why I've gotten a notion in my mind that the weight he loses will somehow find its way to me … as if fat were an element on the periodic table that can't be decomposed by either physical or chemical means.
It's just floating in the house somewhere, waiting for me to let down my guard. And when I do, all havoc will break loose … Ketchup won't be a vegetable, and broken cookies will pack twice the caloric punch, not the half I'd always been calculating, on account of the missing crumbs.
See, this is what dieting does to me.
Shhhhh. I know that's crazy talk. You don't have to rub it in.
And I know … I don't like that D word, either.
Diets. They never work. Especially not when the word is defined as a "plan of caloric intake reduction so as to achieve a desired number on a scale," which is significantly lower than the number currently mocking you whenever you step on the infernal device.
For as long as I can remember, I've used the term as a way to express the dietary habits of a particular species. For instance, in my case – a middle-aged suburban homo sapiens – a typical diet consists of bread, cheese, sugary things and liberal amounts of a certain caffeinated beverage. This diet is randomly supplemented with heartily-consumed salads containing at least a week's worth of calories in the dressings alone, but we only record the first part of the latter.
Oh right ... it also consists of eating popcorn for dinner when I'm the only one home.
But now that my husband has embraced this plan of eating like a Neanderthal … You know ... the species of creature that safely grazes along the outer ring of the supermarket, where its food is free-range and organically grown. It NEVER wanders into the center aisles where the Oreos and Fruit Loops live. Those things will KILL you.
Makes sense, right? Well, it made sense on December 31st when we were all too veshnookered to think straight. But the next day, I sobered up enough to rationalize a life without cheese, wine or espresso chip ice cream might not be worth living.
Of course, all that was before the big, protruding-forehead guy who lives in our house lost a pant size.
So help me, if I end up finding his pant size taking up residence in my closet, my new diet will include twigs and nuts and berries and organically-raised beef sliders with capers and caramelized onion between two slices of roasted sweet potato, too.
You know … just like the cavemen.